Welcome to Mom Motivation Mondays where weekly contributing writers share their motherhood experiences to encourage you to find the joy in being a mom.

{This week: Post by Heather}

Crisis mode as a mom can be tough to navigate. Mothering through a crisis makes you feel alone and unsnure, but you are not. Get some support and encouragement for the rough seasons of parenting.

A week an a half ago my 8 year old daughter came home from school sick. I thought it was a normal stomachache. Something that could be solved with toast, extra Disney movie tv time and snuggles from mom. But it was far from normal. My snuggles could do nothing for the struggle that lay ahead.

We spent the day together and went to pick up her sister from school. My oldest starting acting strange and was claiming she was having trouble breathing. She appeared normal so I continued on with our errands and was getting annoyed with her. She was being so dramatic.

Over the next hour I realized that something wasn’t right. My daughter was getting more and more agitated and her breathing was getting shallower. The next couple hours are a blur in my mind. At bedtime, what can only be described as a scene from a scary movie complete with writhing, shaking, hysterical crying and deep breathing, my oldest daughter had a full-blown panic attack.

It took hours to calm her down. We consoled her and held her. She was convinced she was dying because she couldn’t breath. I was dying inside because I couldn’t help her. It’s my job to help her!

We finally got her to sleep and my husband and I just stared at each other in shock.

What caused this?

Was she going to be ok?

Was this just a one time thing?

I calmly tried to push my fears away. I’ve had two panic attacks in my life, and they were completely situational. Something upset my daughter and her body reacted. Everything would be okay tomorrow, and go back to normal.

How I wish that had been true.

Instead she started saying her throat hurt, and she refused to eat food. She went back to school for two days, but then when I tried to drop her off on the third day she refused to get out of the car. She literally wouldn’t go into school.

As the week continued on it became apparent that this was not something that couldn’t easily be handled. Nothing was going back to normal. She seemed almost to be getting worse. She refused to eat for 5 days. We bought her Pediasure just to get something into her body. She was convinced she was going to choke on something because of the “lump” in her throat. No amount of begging or rationalizing would get her to eat.

I cried. I got upset. I calmed down. I got frustrated. I calmed down again.

We have been to the doctor no less than 5 times in the course of 9 days. We’ve tried everything.

We made an appointment with an Ear, Nose and Throat doctor where I held my daughter as they pushed a scope through her nose into her throat to completely rule out anything physical that could be happening. I was hoping that it was something physical. I know that sounds completely horrible. But the alternative to it being physical is that it’s mental. If there was something stuck in her throat or she had a scratch it could be seen.

The ENT told us there was nothing physically wrong with her. The blow was devastating. I was sure the sound of my soul being crushed into a million different pieces was heard by the poor doctor standing in front of me.

This meant the panic attack had scared her so much that she actually has physical symptoms. This means that the only way to solve her physical symptoms is to solve whatever happened to her mentally. Something, some event, triggered her panic attack which now has triggered physical symptoms of not being able to swallow correctly.

We went to a child counselor to have her start to talk through exactly what is causing her worries and her fears which are directly related to her not being able to feel like she can eat. After speaking with our daughter she said that our daughter puts a lot of pressure on herself, and that we’re going to have to work through what caused her to panic.

I have never in my entire time as a mother felt anything akin to the feelings I’ve felt this last week and a half. I’ve questioned my parenting like never before. I’ve wondered what I could have done differently to help her avoid this. Did I not help her develop coping skills? Did I somehow cause it by expecting too much out of her? The feelings have been overwhelming.

Watching your child suffer is one of the worst things you can experience.

Their hurt is your hurt. Their struggle is your struggle.

My hope is that by typing these words I can at the very least show other moms that I understand. I understand what it is when a family is in crisis mode. It can stop your world in an instant. It changes the trajectory of your life.

If your children are struggling with something please know you’re not alone. There are other moms out there that are experiencing hardship and setbacks and feelings of overwhelm.

A weekly series of motivation for moms brought to you by stay at home mom bloggers at The Stay-at-Home Mom Survival Guide.

You are not alone even when it feels like you are.

Crisis mode as a mom can be tough to navigate. Mothering through a crisis makes you feel alone and unsnure, but you are not. Get some support and encouragement for the rough seasons of parenting.

Heather lives in Florida with her husband, two girls and two pups. She is a lover of most things in life, too many to name here without scaring you, but a few include working out, learning new recipes, Pinterest, organizing (yes, it’s true!), home decor and learning to lead a more minimal and purposeful life.

She started Just Becoming Me as a venture to better understand herself and what will lead her towards a more fulfilling life. Her motto is: “We only have one life, and I want to learn to live mine in a way that gets me excited to jump out of bed.”

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